Is Altea Worth Visiting?

Nestled on the Costa Blanca of Spain, the charming town of Altea beckons travelers with its picturesque landscapes, historical richness, and vibrant cultural scene. This coastal gem, often overshadowed by its bustling neighbor Benidorm, offers a tranquil yet enriching experience for those seeking a blend of relaxation and cultural immersion. This article delves into various aspects of Altea, from its stunning beaches and artistic heritage to its culinary delights and outdoor activities, to answer the question: Is Altea worth visiting?

Picturesque Setting and Historical Charm

Altea’s allure begins with its stunning location. Perched on a hill, the town overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, offering breathtaking views that captivate visitors upon arrival. The old town, or 'El Casco Antiguo', is a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets flanked by whitewashed houses, an architectural nod to Altea’s Moorish past. This historic center culminates at the iconic blue-domed church, La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, which stands as a beacon of Altea's cultural and historical heritage.

The charm of Altea's old town is further enhanced by its vibrant art scene. The town is known as a haven for artists, boasting numerous galleries and workshops. This artistic atmosphere is palpable as one strolls through the streets, adorned with handcrafted ceramics and murals. The weekly craft market, held in the church square, offers a wonderful opportunity to acquire unique local art and crafts.

Serene Beaches and Natural Beauty

Altea's coastline features several small coves and beaches that provide a more secluded alternative to the crowded sands of larger Costa Blanca resorts. The main beach, Playa de Altea, is a pebble beach that stretches along the promenade, dotted with palm trees and offering ample space for sunbathing and swimming. For those in search of tranquility, the nearby Cap Negret and La Olla beaches present quieter spots ideal for relaxation and reflection.

Beyond the beaches, Altea is surrounded by natural landscapes that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts. The Sierra de Bernia, a mountain range close to Altea, is perfect for hiking, with trails offering panoramic views of the coastline and beyond. The nearby Algar Waterfalls and the Guadalest Valley are also popular destinations for day trips, providing picturesque settings for picnicking and photography.

Culinary Delights

The gastronomic offerings in Altea are a reflection of its coastal location and multicultural influences. The local cuisine features a delectable mix of seafood, rice dishes, and Mediterranean flavors. Paella, freshly caught seafood, and tapas are staples in many restaurants along the waterfront. Altea also benefits from its proximity to the vineyards of the Alicante region, allowing visitors to enjoy local wines that perfectly complement the regional dishes.

The town's culinary scene is not limited to traditional Spanish food. A variety of international restaurants offer dishes from around the world, catering to diverse palates. Moreover, Altea’s culinary festivals, such as the Altea Gastronomica, celebrate local cuisine and attract food lovers from across Spain and beyond.

Cultural Festivities and Local Life

Altea's calendar is replete with cultural festivals that transform the town into a vibrant hub of activity. The Moros y Cristianos festival, celebrated with parades, mock battles, and elaborate costumes, is a highlight, showcasing the town's historical narratives. Other events, like the Castell de l'Olla, feature spectacular firework displays over the bay, combining artistry with tradition in a stunning visual feast.

For those interested in experiencing local life, Altea offers a slower pace and a friendly atmosphere. The town’s population swells during the summer months, but it remains a place where local traditions and modern tourism blend seamlessly. The warm hospitality of the residents, coupled with the relaxed lifestyle, makes visitors feel at home.


So, is Altea worth visiting? Absolutely. Whether you're drawn to its historical streets, inspired by its artistic community, enticed by its culinary offerings, or relaxed by its natural landscapes and serene beaches, Altea presents a well-rounded package for any traveler. It's a place where one can easily escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse oneself in the beauty and tranquility of the Spanish coastline. For those seeking a destination that combines peace with rich cultural experiences, Altea is indeed a compelling choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The best time to visit Altea is from late spring to early autumn (May to October) when the weather is warm and sunny, perfect for beach activities and festivals

Yes, the Moros y Cristianos festival is a must-see cultural event, featuring parades, historical reenactments, and colorful costumes, typically held in September

Top attractions include the historic old town with La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, the picturesque beaches like Playa de Altea, and the bustling craft markets

Altea offers excellent hiking opportunities in the Sierra de Bernia, along with water activities such as swimming and sailing at its various beaches

Visitors should try local dishes like paella, tapas featuring seafood, and regional desserts like turron, complemented by local Alicante wines

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